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Formula 1

Perez has clear the air talks with Racing Point

by Glenn Freeman
4 min read

Sergio Perez has held clear the air talks with Racing Point to explain what he meant by comments that “some people inside the team tend to hide things” amid his departure from the Formula 1 team.

Perez leaves Racing Point after seven seasons at the end of this year to make way for Sebastian Vettel after a long period of uncertainty about whether he would continue despite being under contract.

After his departure was announced ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix two weeks ago, Perez said that “a bit more clarity would have helped” given the need to secure a future outside Racing Point, leading to suggestions his relationship with the team had been damaged.

But the Mexican released a statement this morning on social media confirming he had discussed the comments he made in Thursday’s pre-Russian Grand Prix press conference about his relationship with the team hinting at a lack of transparency, insisting there is no ongoing problem.

“I have known this team for seven years and they are like family,” said Perez in the statement. “I have spoken to the team and they accept my explanation.

“There’s no way that after seven years we can finish in bad terms, the air is totally cleared. And we all move forwards now.

“We all want the same thing: to score as many points and be successful in our remaining races together. We will push and go for more podiums in this eighth [sic] final races together. “

What did Perez say?

When asked on Thursday whether it was difficult to maintain a good relationship with the team, Perez initially suggested there was no problem before alluding to a lack of transparency.

It’s unclear what he meant by this and it is standard practice for an outgoing driver not to be in the loop when it comes to technical plans beyond the end of the season, although he appeared to be indicating a wider problem.

It’s also understandable that he was not given the Racing Point aerodynamic upgrade Lance Stroll benefitted from at Mugello given the team has limited parts, a situation that will continue at Sochi – although Perez does benefit from the new rear suspension configuration.

When asked if it was difficult to maintain a positive relationship with the team as he has had in the past, Perez said: “I don’t think so, everyone we’re focusing on the races ahead.

“It’s going to be crucial that we deliver every single point, it’s very important for the constructors’ championship.

“We still can have the best season in our history if we manage to finish third. We’re all going to be very disappointed if we don’t get that third place in the constructors’ championship.

“Obviously, since the news came out, some people inside the team tend to hide things you know, which I don’t think is great.

“At the moment, we just have to be as transparent as possible to make sure we achieve our goals and we make sure we score as many points as we possibly can.”

Perez also expressed his disappointment about suggestions he had initially heard by chance that the decision had been made to replace him.

He was asked to confirm or deny a report that he discovered he was being dropped by Racing Point after overhearing Lawrence Stroll in the team hotel.

“I’m pretty disappointed to be honest that such things have come out from the team or something,” said Perez.

“Those things have to remain between the team and myself, and I won’t be giving any information at all because I think it’s something that has to be kept internally.”

It’s clear the relationship between Perez and certain parts of Racing Point have been strained by this situation and he has made it clear he was not happy with the way in which the driver decision for 2020 was made.

This is entirely plausible given the evasive nature of the team’s public statements on the matter and given Perez does have a long-standing and strong relationship with most he works alongside in the team.

It seems more likely the concerns he was referring to are related to specific individuals at the top. But given Perez has not been specific in who he is referring to, it’s only possible to speculate on the nature of his concerns.

What is clear is he will continue to perform well given his desire to secure a new berth in F1 and Racing Point can be confident that his desire to ensure the team seals third place in the constructors’ championship is genuine.

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